Before You Go

1. Attend the Pre-Departure Information Meeting/Orientation

For anyone studying abroad, the Pre-Departure Information Meeting is highly recommended.

What to expect:

  • Program Costs and Dates (Arrival, Departure, Independent Travel, etc.)
  • Academic Expectations
  • Health and Safety
  • Travel Tips

2.Exchange Information

Exchanging information as early as possible with others participants. Not only will you start your program with familiar faces, but this also helps with coordinating meet up locations, in case of an emergency or for any questions you might want to ask before you depart.

By communicating early, you also have the opportunity to plan ahead to bring and/or share supplies*

*See section on what to bring

Helpful Tips:

  • Group Messaging Apps/Facebook Page
  • Plan ahead
  • Carpool
  • Set reminders

3. What to Bring?

Before you go, it is important to evaluate what you’ll be bringing. Most people tend to over pack, so here is a list of essentials:

  • Passport copies and address booklet with names/numbers/phrases/map.

Never carry your real passport once you arrive, keep it in a safe location and always carry a copy.

  • Clothes: Pack light but bring clothes for different kinds of weather. Layering clothing is also convenient.

Note: The month of July in Paris features end of the season sales, if you plan on shopping pack light to avoid extra airline fees. There are laundry rooms provided.

  • Fan: Summers in Paris have been increasingly hot.

Generally the summers are much cooler than southern California (avg. temp. of July is 68 F/20 C) and as a result many older buildings are not equipped with air conditioning. Plan accordingly; this can be bought after you arrive or before you go, the same applies for toiletries.

  • Toiletries (Optional): Unless there is a specific product you use, you can always purchase your toiletries after arriving.
  • Travel Adapter/Converter

4. Accommodations

The accommodations provided will be on-campus dormitory.

There are two options for the program:

Option 1) Double

Option 2) Single w/ Private Restroom

Each room comes with its own wash room (includes sink/mirror/cabinets) and most come with mini-refrigerators.

Every floor to every other floor has a restroom (W.C.-toilet only) with a shower located nearby.

It is important to note that there are laundry rooms present, in addition to a community kitchen (equipped with stove, microwave, sink, etc.)

5. Getting Around

Public Transit

  • For the duration of the program, you will be given a pass (included in costs) that grants access on the metro and buses.
  • Many programs provide an orientation shortly after arrival explaining the transit system and general advice for your stay. Don’t be hesitant to ask any of these questions at a pre-orientation meeting or to anyone who has traveled abroad.
  • The group flight includes a transfer to your accommodations
  • Detailed maps can be found online
  • Research possible locations you plan to visit, including cost, travel fare and time.

6. Health and Safety

For any health and safety issues, please contact the ACCENT Center.

Appointments can be made for you with a nearby doctor, who can then give you prescription.

You have the option of filling out a form so your insurance can reimburse you for costs paid.

There is also the option of local pharmacies, which are located every other block. Pharmacies will provide you with over the counter medicine to hygiene/toiletries.

7. Helpful Hints

  • Notify your bank before you depart. Find out if your bank has any partnering banks in the country/countries you plan on visit. Find out if any fees apply to your withdrawals.
  • Bring comfortable shoes and make sure you are in good health. The amount of walking you will do during your stay is shocking, make sure you have proper footwear and have broken in your shoes.
  • Never keep any of your valuables such as your phone or wallet in your pockets where they can be easily accessed.
  • Always notify others where you are going and never travel alone.
  • Tipping is considered rude. A percentage is already calculated and included in your bill.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned return date.

A Summer in Paris

Studying abroad is an enriching experience. This past summer I went to Paris. The experience is unforgettable, from the food, friends and memories made. Studying in another country, is stepping outside one’s comfort zone. Experiencing another culture allows us to learn more about ourselves and where we come from.

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Cité Université

The Cité Université is a series of housing, where many of the students stayed. The housing is named after different countries, and each house aims to host a mixture of students from that country and others. Expect to meet lots of people from all over the world!

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An overview of the city from the Eiffel Tower. Public transportation in Paris is one of the best. From the Cité Université, traveling isn’t a problem. Besides that, there also is the opportunity to travel to other countries besides France.


Expect to become extremely close with the people you meet. Studying abroad with other students is a bonding experience. All the shared memories will make you smile, laugh and maybe even cry when it’s over.

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La Tour Eiffel

Visiting the Eiffel Tower on multiple occasions, from pic-nicking to watching fireworks on Bastille Day. There’s so much to do and an abundance of events that happen within Paris, don’t miss out on all the opportunities!

Saint Malo

One of the weekend excursions to Saint Malo in northern France. I remember this weekend because it was also the same weekend I had the best hot chocolate of my life in Dinon. Besides Saint Malo, there are trips to the D-Day Beaches, Versailles, Vaux le Victome, and many other trips and experiences.

Going to another country, speaking another language, learning about another culture are all invaluable experiences. Take the chance if you can, it’s a learning experience. From learning more about yourself to the place you call home.